A San Fernando Valley man who defrauded hundreds of victims in an investment scam that reaped more than $3 million has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
At his sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles Monday, Jason Corry, 38, was also sentenced to six months of home detention and ordered to pay $4.8 million in restitution to his victims, the FBI's Los Angeles field office said in a statement.
Corry was a key participant in 1997 and 1998 in a scheme that duped victims into investing in a purported Calabasas-based telecommunications company called United States Telegraph and Telephone, of which Corry was the nominal president, according to the FBI.
He was arrested in June of 2011 and later pleaded guilty to mail fraud after spending several years on the run, according to the FBI, which investigated the case along with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Corry and others told victims UST&T was planning to merge with an energy and telecommunications company, according to the FBI.
The victims, who were asked for minimum investments of $10,000 to $20,000, were also told UST&T was poised for an initial public offering of stock and there was a limited window to invest. Investors were promised dividends of approximately 9 percent and returns of up to 25 times their investment within the first year of the company going public, according to the FBI.
"Investigators determined that the representations made to the victims were false and that investor money was used to pay the commissions of telemarketers at UST&T, including Corry's,'' according to the FBI.
Corry and a co-defendant were originally charged in U.S. District Court in 1999, but Corry became a fugitive for several years, according to the FBI. He was arrested in the San Fernando Valley last year by the U.S. Marshals Service and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.